Monday, March 31, 2014

Eso’s Chronicles 318 / 5
It’s Not Over Until It’s Over
© Eso A.B.
All comments appearing within brackets [ ] are editorial in origin.


While looking through the books on my hopelessly chaotic bookshelves, I came across a copy of “Empire”, Harvard, 2000, by Michael Hardt and Antonia Negri, and started flipping some of the pages read years ago .

I came across a highlighted phrase that reminded me of my interest in what it states: “….The first task of Empire, then is to enlarge the realm of the consensuses that support its own power.”

As I now live in Latvia, the country of my birth, where the social fabric, (originally based on life in the wood) has over a period of about a thousand years been torn to shreds by many would be Empires (Germany, Holy Roman Empire, Russia, Poland, Sweden, the Soviet Union), and where, not surprisingly, a good portion of nationalist rhetoric edges close to being fascistic (along Italian and German paradigms), even while giving ground to the Empire of EU and US, I decided to pull the phrase and take another look at it.

This follows a brief confrontation via email with a Latvian NGO, . The following is a free English translation from Latvian:

“I cite the author’s (of the article) response to the respondeNd (Ieva)”

‘....To say that the Latvian delegates (to the EU) cannot have influence on EU legislation is to fail to understand that the EU legislature functions on the basis of compromise and consensual orientation..."

“I (this writer) wish to point out that it is precisely in this word ‘concensus’ that hides the stasis of Latvian politics: censorship of thought and dictatorship of the media [and an alienated public]. What the author of the article fails to comprehend is that ‘concensus’ is an academic perspective, and has nothing to do with a freely thinking public.  The fact that the State did not permit a referendum on the question of what currency the Latvians wish to use was ‘overmanship’ over the subalterned People by State administration, which, to cite Antonio Negri (Empire, p106) on the concept of the nation:  "...the concept of nation promotes stasis and restoration in the hands of the dominant, it is a weapon for change and revolution in the hands of the subordinated." ("Empire", p.106).

“While not denying that there are occasions when concensus occurs, such events are rare, but more often, as in Latvia ever since1991, power was restored to the dominant group (the Senate—Saeima—and the State bureaucracy). The schism between the State and the People is not simply virtual. It has been created by the State and represents a repressive reality, which is evidently supported by the author of the article and the NGO 'Politika'.”

The tone with which the State, its agents, and the media address the Latvian people is notably authoritarian, with a uni-polar tendency as to subject matter, the latter expressed as ‘silent treatment’, which impresses on the majority of the public the idea that no other subjects exist. Such ‘treatment’ leads to increased levels of frustration among the public, though it has to be added that it has succeeded (by subjecting the nation to the European Central Bank) in ridding Latvia of about 900,000 (about 45%) of its people by forcing them to emigrate abroad. The number of immigrants is, by the way, this writer’s subjective guestimate, which subjective evaluation has no standing with the ‘objective’ and authoritarian (power-over) Consensus State.

The above is, of course, only a miniature of what the Empire (sometimes the U.S. alone, at other times, the US, EU, Russia, China in combination) confronts the hominids (to be differentiated from human beings) with. The revelation of the extent of spying done by the NSA (National Security Agency), proves the point of Hardt and Negri that: “The means of the private and individual apprehension of values are dissolved with the appearance of Empire… with a concrete universal itself. (p19)”

In the Big Empire (generally presumed to be theU.S.) itself, this confrontation between the Empire and the individual’s subjective apprehension of values was clearly represented through the MIT student-activist Aaron Schwartz ,who downloaded too many JSTOR articles to government’s liking, so-called suicide due to the Empire’s prosecution (intimidation) of his efforts.

Since I object to the very word ‘suicide’, because of my belief that it is a deliberate attempt by the Empire to dismiss any and all self-sacrificial acts of its opponents, I certainly believe that Aaron Schwart’s ‘suicide’ was a sacrifice aimed against the Empire on behalf of subjective intelligence, which the internet functions to restore, but which the government is attempting to repress and censor. Hopefully, the alternate media, which made Aaron its hero, will not let him down by dismissing his self-sacrifice by continuing to call it ‘suicide’.

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